Ernesto Villegas, the reader of el finado’s fake medical reports, tweeted pictures and videos of the meeting in Miraflores between the General Prosecutor and Nicolás. Contrary to their usual protocol, they didn’t impose the meeting on us via cadena, there were no cameras or microphones, only Ernesto’s cell phone, repeating the fake tale about the settled impasse between the Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice for breaking the constitutional order, which they consider now restored after they scrubbed parts of rulings 155 and 156, proving that those were political actions and not legal judicial decisions, as political as the amendment order issued by the Council for Defense of the Nation and its swift enactment by the TSJ.
Maikel Moreno, head of the TSJ, spoke this Saturday with vice-president Tareck El Aissami by his side. According to Moreno, in view of Nicolás’ order, they demonstrated that they’re an autonomous power that would never something to attack democracy. He also said that the TSJ guarantees the Rule of Law and compliance with the Constitution —although the Tribunal’s track record of rulings against Parliament proves the opposite— that their decisions didn’t strip Parliament of its authority or dissolved it, that they recognize parliamentary immunity and that the National Assembly is responsible for resuming “the legal and legitimate exercise of its constitutional functions, by complying with the judicial branch’s decisions,” in other words, the contempt (desacato) is alive and well.
Like a real PSUV pawn, Moreno read that the TSJ “won’t remain passive before any attacks we might suffer from national and international factors.” About Luisa Ortega Díaz’s opinion questioning the legality of the recent rulings, he merely said: “she’s entitled to her opinion as a citizen.” Regarding “the mistake” that they amended by crossing out a couple of paragraphs, he said that a ruling doesn’t mean being in conflict with another branch of government, even if the ruling dissolves that branch of government. He didn’t do worse because he didn’t have more time. Astonishingly, the admission of the breakdown of the constitutional order hasn’t involved investigations to establish responsibilities.
Ushuaia Protocol, Delcy
After a three-hour meeting discussing the violation of democratic order in Venezuela, the Foreign ministers of Mercosur’s founding member States signed a joint statement urging the government to immediately apply concrete measures -in agreement with the opposition and in compliance with the Constitution- to guarantee the actual separation of powers.
They said that Venezuela experiences a “political, institutional, social and economic crisis, prompting shortages,” and that the time has come to implement “all available instruments within Mercosur’s architecture,” resorting to the democratic clause. Mercosur urges the government to respect the electoral timetable, restore branch autonomy and release all political prisoners. They announced that they will hold ongoing mutual consultations and will promote them in Venezuela, promising to oversee the democratic restoration process. Argentine Foreign minister Susana Malcorra showed that the TSJ’s backtracking didn’t work: “The TSJ has systematically interfered with the National Assembly. It’s true that they have decided to reverse some decisions, but it’s also true that they continue to hold the Assembly in contempt. There’s no branch autonomy.” Ouch, Nicolás.
Chávez lives in the sea
Those are the words written on a huge banner in the Simón Bolívar school vessel, which sailed yesterday with some officers who declared themselves chavistas, after speaking of the importance of sovereignty and national independence, even though all the vessel’s containers displayed international brands. Nicolás took the opportunity to say that each country must settle internal issues using legal troubleshooting mechanisms, without mentioning elections that would greatly improve our situation. Happy because the coup d’État —reduced to a mere controversy between the Prosecutor’s Office and the Judiciary— was resolved by the National Defence Council in a matter of hours, he didn’t pass the chance to caution chavista officers that they must “defend the country against traitors and those who seek foreign intervention,” launching a tirade of insults against the OAS and later express his solidarity with Paraguay and Colombia. An extremely coherent performance.
The ongoing coup
The amendments that the Constitutional Chamber made yesterday to its rulings don’t erase the breakdown of the constitutional order. Nothing has changed concerning the contempt (desacato). Nothing has changed concerning all the previous rulings against the National Assembly that have prevented it from fully exercising legislative powers. If the TSJ truly wants to recover the Rule of Law, it’s vital that they fully restore the National Assembly’s authority. This is an ongoing coup and Nicolás’ interference with TSJ rulings only makes it worse. If Mercosur’s Foreign ministers read these shenanigans correctly, it’s probable that other nations will do it as well.
My best partner at the Plaza Brión protest yesterday left early this morning from Mamporal (Miranda state) with her arepa wrapped in tinfoil and a small bottle of water that was slowly losing the ice it had collected overnight. We agreed on how boring some of the speeches were and in how sad it was to see so few citizens on the street in a moment like this. Since I was alone, I refrained from accompanying the protests to the Ombudsman’s Office. All the reports about this attempt and other protests in the rest of the country show how the State’s brutality —whoops, sorry, security— forces disrespect Human Rights. This will also have consequences. Some crimes never expire.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.